The Pitfalls of Subleasing

The Pitfalls of Subleasing

This past year, it seemed we ran into more landlords who worked against our clients than we did landlords who worked with them. In Virginia, every time we found a subtenant for a sublease, the landlord in question would lure them over to another listing in the building. Meanwhile, in New York, we helped a client search for an extra 1,000 square feet of space – in a building with subleases available, the landlord denied permission at every turn, saying only that if the tenant wanted more space, he would happily lease them a new space. He was more than happy to tear up the old lease, which would have been all well and good, except that the landlord was asking for substantially over market value for the space.

Lots of things had gone wrong for this particular tenant, starting with the fact that a broker wasn’t used on the initial lease. This meant the tenant had no one to advice them, no one who was in their corner. Additionally, the tenant didn’t use an attorney in the original lease signing, which meant that they had very few rights written into the lease. How could these issues have been avoided? For starters, the landlord in question had a bad reputation – we always advise tenants to do their homework on their potential landlords. This is where a tenant representative broker can come in very handy. They’ve got the industry and market knowledge to help you avoid the bad seeds. You want to know your landlord before you lease from them!
Additionally, tightening up the sublease language could have helped the tenant to avoid some of these issues; this is where an attorney would have come in handy. Happily, once the tenant began working with Compass Commercial ITRA Global, things looked up. I’m happy to report that we were able to move the tenant out of their current space a year in advance, following the successful negotiation of an excellent lease with a great landlord who gave them their first year of rent free. The moral of the story? It helps to have people in your corner!

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